2013 November

The Kings of Commercial

When businesses look for space in Ann Arbor, chances are good they’ll end up talking to former beer deliveryman Jim Chaconas and his young sidekick, Brendan Cavender.Gone are the shelves of books and magazines from the old...

Read More

What Price Pensions?

Six years ago, the funds that pay for employee pensions and retiree health care for Washtenaw County employees were nearly balanced: they held $215 million in assets against what staff estimated to be $225 million in...

Read More

Capital Partnership

Thirty years ago, Nub Turner led the long-shot leveraged buyout that saved downtown’s last factory. Now his son Matt is backing bubble tea and tech start-ups.—Matt Turner says his business relationship with his...

Read More

Knight’s Surprise

“It’s going to be a surprise,” says Don Knight about the look and feel of his new restaurant, a steak house that will occupy part of the former Borders (the Maynard/Liberty corner). Another restaurant, the...

Read More

Comedy’s New Cellar

Roger Feeny says he’ll move his Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase, currently underneath Seva (itself moving to Westgate), in December or January.The new space will be in the basement of the Fourth Ave. mini-mall that also houses...

Read More

Burgerfication

General manager Andrew Heningburg says the name of BurgerFi, on the ground floor of University Towers, is short for “burgerfication of the nation.” You may have thought the nation burgerfied years ago–there was...

Read More

Liz Davis

For more than twenty-five years, waitress Liz Davis has walked the wooden floor of the Old Town Tavern. “When I first started working here, this was a rough corner,” she recalls in a husky voice. At the time she was...

Read More

HanukkahGiving

“Thanksgiving isn’t all that old a holiday,” says Beth Israel rabbi Robert Dobrusin. And because of Thanksgiving’s comparative youth–Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in...

Read More

Challah’s

It was the Friday before Thanksgiving, and I was at Busch’s, doing my penultimate shopping for the holiday. They sell Zingerman’s breads, and I chose two challahs, one seeded, one plain. I would freeze them until...

Read More

Rendel’s is Alive and Well

“Does anyone know a good upholsterer? Rendel’s isn’t answering their phone,” went a cry for help on A2B3, a widely read email group. Several other upholsterers were immediately suggested, but no one at...

Read More

Hidden Museum

“When I came for my interview, I got lost,” Shannon O’Dell says.The curator of the U-M’s Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry is the first to admit that it can be rather hard to find. On that first visit, she...

Read More

Smiles of Relief

Thousands of low-income kids got a break last month when a state-funded dental insurance program expanded into Washtenaw County. Administered by Delta Dental, the program pays private dentists to provide cleanings and treatment....

Read More

From Los Amigos to Don Juan

A one-block stretch on the far west side of Ann Arbor boasts a Latino grocery, two restaurants serving inexpensive Mexican (Taco King, Chela’s), and a small cafe selling organic Salvadoran tamales and horchata lattes...

Read More

The Creatures of the Lawn

“This is Ann Arbor,” says Marguerite Grabarek. “Gotta keep the dog on a leash.”With dry humor, Grabarek is explaining why a rope connects two bushes in her front yard on Virnankay Circle–one...

Read More

Facebook friends:

Author John U. Bacon had 2,014 Facebook friends in mid-October–and some 600 “pending requests,” most of them from people he doesn’t know. Suspecting that “some just want to get access to the...

Read More

Classy Dorm

Gilded quad: Thanks to a $116 million makeover, the seventy-four-year-old East Quadrangle, home of the U-M Residential College, now boasts a two-level atrium, handsome new furnishings, and air conditioning. But that didn’t...

Read More

Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor

On the second floor of the “old” UMMA building, Adolph Gottlieb: Sculptor features shapes resembling stars, suns, moons, and rainbows. The exhibit includes some of the powerful large-scale paintings that are the...

Read More

Karen Russell

Karen Russell is moving fast, and she’s having the kind of enormous early success I thought was no longer possible for a literary writer in America. Her novel Swamplandia!–about a family of alligator wrestlers living...

Read More

“Social Painting” Arrives

Two “social painting” businesses opened in the last year. But what’s social painting?The Paint Station and Paint and Pour produce events that fall about halfway between a class and a party. A group of people,...

Read More

Upcoming Events